When he said it, she put her middle finger in the inner corner of her right eye to soothe that sting that occurs there when you’ve meant to correct but in turn been corrected, when you feel shamed: that needle-thin stab right where your eyeball rounds off and leaves a tiny pink triangle exposed without skin. Other than the navel, it is the most sacred place on the human body. (The most profane being not the genitalia as some Christians and Muslims and Texans would have you believe, but the elbow, that angular bone designed to abet sloth, indecency at the dinner table, ambivalence and ownership of space. Think of this next time someone crowds you and your elbows react like a threatened blowfish–although the only thing you’re truly in danger of is adhering to the belief that someone can possibly be in your way, that you have a way to begin with. The next time you bump your funny bone consider it an admonition.)
Her finger caught a tear just in time. She pretends so often that her eyelashes get in the way of her eyes that all she has to do now is pull down the visor mirror in her passenger seat and say, “eyelash” and he will look back at the road while she tries to pull down the skin of her face and pull out the evidence, save her mascara, keep herself intact, keep herself from becoming a person that reveals everything without becoming a person that walks around with ninety-degree elbows, and yet still appear to be a person who can handle the truth.
posted by holly.